“If you were just a dame, Susan, it’d be different. But you’re special.”
A cynical cop (Van Heflin) falls for a wealthy woman (Evelyn Keyes) he meets on a house call, and concocts a plan to “accidentally” shoot her husband so they can get married. After Heflin is declared innocent in court, he and Keyes are married, with nobody suspecting that they previously had an affair — but things become more complicated when Keyes reveals that she’s four months pregnant, and clearly not with her first husband’s child…
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Evelyn Keyes Films
- Joseph Losey Films
- Plot to Murder
- Van Heflin Films
This punchy thriller by director Joseph Losey offers an enjoyable twist on the traditional noir storyline, with Heflin perfectly cast as a deviously womanizing scoundrel (an “homme fatale”) who nonetheless isn’t all bad inside, and Evelyn Keyes equally effective as a lonely wife who allows herself to be taken in (against her better judgment) by Heflin’s advances.
The plot takes several satisfying twists, with Keyes’ “predicament” particularly unexpected and shocking — the fact that this “sin” is named out loud in an early-’50s film tells us that someone will be paying for their transgression against society — though it’s not clear who, or how.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Van Heflin as Webb Garwood
- Evelyn Keyes as Susan Gilvray
- Arthur Miller’s cinematography
- A satisfying “homme fatale” storyline
Yes, as an all-around good show by Losey.
- Good Show
- Important Director